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S. Korea proposes joint stockpile of medical, quarantine supplies for future health crises

All News 08:37 May 28, 2021

SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has proposed the establishment of a multinational system to stockpile medical and quarantine supplies to respond to future health crises during a regional cooperation forum, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Seoul made the proposal at the third virtual session of the Northeast Asia Conference on Health Security on Thursday. The forum was launched in December based on an initiative that President Moon Jae-in suggested to foster joint efforts to handle pandemics and other challenges.

Diplomatic and health officials from the governments of the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia, as well as their embassies in Seoul, attended Thursday's session.

"Our side proposed a way to establish a joint system to stockpile medical and quarantine supplies among the participating countries as early as possible, given that it is crucial to respond rapidly to demands for emergency quarantine items should a new infectious disease emerge," the ministry said in a press release.

Seoul also stressed the importance of developing joint educational and training programs to deal with infectious diseases, and proposed a video-linked session of quarantine and public health experts later this year to discuss the need for such programs.

Participants in the session shared the understanding that the participation of North Korea in the regional dialogue forum is important to strengthen joint responses to transnational public health issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Korean officials attend the third virtual session of the Northeast Asia Conference on Health Security at the foreign ministry in Seoul on May 27, 2021, in this photo provided by the ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

South Korean officials attend the third virtual session of the Northeast Asia Conference on Health Security at the foreign ministry in Seoul on May 27, 2021, in this photo provided by the ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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